2013 was a momentous year for Kahlia Greksa. This Australian dancer appeared in a number of the most extraordinary and lavish scenes of the Oscar-winning film The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Displaying her equal prominence as an acclaimed artist globally, Greksa appeared in the multiple award-winning films Dhoom 3. Directed by the award-winning Vijay Krishna Acharya and starring Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Abhishek Bachchan; Dhoom 3 took Star Box Office India Awards “Film of the Year” for maximum collection at the domestic box office. This feature film was part of a very successful franchise in India but for Kahlia it was a chance to push herself as an artist while increasing awareness of her talent in another part of the world whose film industry is massive. As a part of these two majorly successful films, Greksa will no doubt be pushing even harder this year to top the great success she has experienced last year.
“International” is the most appropriate description of Greksa’s renown in the industry. Bollywood films are not known for their emphasis on tap dancing. Similarly, Kahlia cannot be labeled solely as a Tap-Dancer, as evidenced by her numerous displays of styles in differing productions. Still, after her agent submitted her impressive showreel, Greksa was invited to participate in the auditions for Dhoom 3, eventually being selected from among hundreds of other dancers for the role. Following two weeks of rehearsals at Tap Dogs HQ in Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, she was flown to India for filming. The very fact that the production did an international search for the ideal tap dancer confirms how vital this part was for the film and that it required exceptional talent such as Kahlia.
Dhoom 3 is an Indian Hindu language action thriller film. Featuring Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, this Yash Raj Films production grossed fifty-eight million dollars worldwide in ten days to become the eleventh highest-grossing Indian film of all time. With sixteen nominations and eighteen wins, this was one of the first Bollywood films to feature tap dancing in an opening dance scene. The story centers around a circus entertainer turned thief named Sahir’s attempt to take down a corrupt bank. Indian officers Jai and Ali seek to capture Sahir in a story that is a modern-day action/chase that meets Robin Hood’s tale which blurs the lines of right and wrong.
The acclaimed opening tap dance scene in which Kahlia is featured takes place in a rustic warehouse with numerous levels. Choreographed by prestigious Australian Tap Dancer and Tap Dog creator Dein Perry, it was designed to have a strong aesthetic and feel for the hip-hop element in the music and portray this through the tap routine. An element of what is so remarkable in Kahlia’s tap performance in this scene is that tap is a dance style created to be performed on a flat surface; the demands of Greksa’s special high heel tap shoes were a challenging innovation. Of course, none of this is noticeable to viewers who simply marvel at her grace and rhythm in this groundbreaking opening Bollywood film dance number.
When questioned about her experience on Dhoom 3, Kahlia relates, “Travelling to India from Australia on a fifteen-hour plane ride and then performing a meticulously hard routine with jetlag was a challenge and a new experience but these are the difficulties that come with success so I welcome them. Dhoom 3 was a wonderful experience that opened up many opportunities for me. My first experience on an authentic Bollywood set working alongside Bollywood superstar Amir Khan gave me instant cred. The Bollywood industry is very established and respected so to be able to create something unique within it is something I’m extremely proud of.”